Cheap eats aren't hard to come by in this town. You just have to know where to look, or rather, when to go. Some of LA's best restaurants offer prix-fixe bargain dinners every night of the week that go beyond Taco Tuesdays. From Santa Monica to Los Feliz, here are some of the best weekly specials.
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This Los Feliz favorite features a $15, three-course Monday supper of Italian comfort foods from New Orleans-born chef Brandon Boudet. Laze on the sidewalk patio or in comfy red booths to enjoy this steal-of-a-deal dinner. A recent menu consisted of roasted grape salad with gorgonzola, house-made strozzapreti with chicken sauce and vanilla bean rice pudding. To drink, $12 bottles of red and white wine are on offer, plus $3 Perroni beer.
Notable mention: Every week, chef Kris Morningstar offers an ad hoc family-style dinner at Ray's. His Monday "staff meals" consist of a casual, off-the-cuff, three-course menu ($35) fit for chefs and thrifty diners.
This Echo Park bistro's $5 Wednesday burger nights are legendary around town, but we like to dine in on the second night of the week for the $15, three-course Speakeasy Tuesday. Snag a table on the patio and enjoy a meal that can include lentil soup to start, chicken piccata (eggplant parmesan for vegetarians) and dessert.
Josie Le Balch runs one of the better Cal-Med restaurants in LA at this self-titledSanta Monica favorite. Le Balch's market-driven quality comes at a premium with entrées that routinely top the $30 barrier. However, on Wednesday nights, a three-course Farmers’ Market Menu is offered for $35. You can expect seasonal dishes such as pear salad with red walnuts, crispy duck confit with spaghetti squash and Jonna’s pumpkin pie, named for pastry chef Jonna Jensen.
The only meal that tames Huckleberry’s perpetual line and brings full-service to the bakery/cafe is the $30, three-course Thursday Night Family Dinner. Communal-style dining brings in Westside locals, couples and families who break bread over Milo & Olive baguette with garlic confit; endive salad with apples, arugula, blue cheese, Niman Ranch bacon and candied walnuts; free-range chicken pot pie and Brussels sprouts with grainy mustard and poached pear tart. Vegetarians can request meat-free, while kids under 12 eat for half-price and kids five and under eat for free.
Give chef Andrew Kirschner seven days notice and he’ll prepare a large format, family-style feast any night of the week at his seasonal Santa Monica destination. Entrée options for the three-course dinner include paella ($42), standing rib rack served with sides such as horseradish potato purée ($46), roasted redfish ($38), and, perhaps his most impressive offering, wood-fired goat ($44) brined in North African spices, sous vided and finished in a walnut and oak wood oven. Accompaniments consist of couscous, roasted carrots with chermoula crème fraîche and currants, piquillo pepper harissa and pickled tomatoes.
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's cafe/bakery churns out soups, salads and pastries around the clock. But on evenings, you can score a three-course dinner for $19—one of the best deals in town. While other restaurants offer prix-fixe specials once a week or on weekdays only, there's a budget meal to be had at this Brentwood outpost every night of the week. On Saturdays, fill up on homemade old-school garlic bread, Caesar salad and bucatini with lamb meatballs with spiced tomato, crumbled feta and black olives.
Suzanne Goin and wine-savvy front-of-house partner Caroline Styne's perennial Cal-Med favorite has found so much success with the Sunday Suppers that the communal dinner series inspired its own cookbook. The $45, three-course menu changes weekly with the seasons and draws diners in droves. A recent menu included chicken liver crostini with black Mission figs, crispy pancetta and aged balsamic; a choice of grilled fish with sweet corn, soft polenta, chanterelles and black truffle butter or lamb osso bucco with white beans, haricots verts, black olives and pine nuts; and Pink Lady apple crostata with crème fraîche and rum raisin ice cream for dessert.
Notable mention: Dominick's offers three courses for $15 every Sunday from 5pm-1am. The offerings change week to week, but a recent menu included butter lettuce with lemon vinaigrette, chicken stew and olive oil cake with oven-roasted strawberries.